Murky future

First, a video clip to help set up today’s post (apologies for the cruddy quality).

For those of you who haven’t seen “The Town,” I highly recommend that you do. Jeremy Renner has such great physical presence that when he’s on screen, you can’t take your eyes off of him. He plays a real shit, but he does it so well he’s fun to watch. Plus, he’s the best actor in the film. If you don’t care for any of the actors, just watch it for the accents–they’re priceless.

This particular scene resonates with me because countless times over the past year I’ve wanted to confide in someone about causing harm (though I never would in reality), and their only response would be “Who’s cah we gonna take?”

The fact that I was even thinking about causing harm is a really bad thing. It’s not like me at all. I may be a McCrabass, but a violent thug I am not. Far from it, actually. However, I think a lot of peace-loving, easy-going folks feel this way and have entertained the thought of causing harm to another in the past year or so. I bet it’s a perfectly natural feeling.

Since returning from LA, I’ve been contemplating my future and it looks like I’ll be spending a couple of months pounding the pavement for work come January 2012. As I’ve stated before, LA ain’t perfect, but it’s a plan — something to shoot for. The feeling of hopelessness is starting to fade and it feels quite good. Breaking up with Chicago won’t be easy should things work out with LA, but if my predictions about Chicago are correct, she won’t give a shit.

And now onto more depressing news.

I hate reading shit like this–from TPM/Pew Research:

Long Term Unemployment Is A Huge Problem —

Especially If You’re Old

Oh this is juuuuuuust suuuuuperrr…..

Read on, please.

“The economy is showing modest signs of improvement, but probably not enough to help the people who’ve taken the biggest hit: the long-term unemployed.”

This isn’t new. It sucks, but it isn’t shocking. Those of us who have been unemployed for some time have given up. I mean, can you really fault us for this? We want to work but work doesn’t want us or need us. Plus, they want the youngins. Don’t believe me? Read on.

“The number of people who’ve been out of work for over a year has skyrocketed since the financial crisis and ensuing recession to the point where Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has called it a “national crisis” — employers are reluctant to hire people who haven’t been on the job in months, and after such long stretches peoples’ skills deteriorate and they become genuinely less marketable.

How bad is it? Extremely bad — and even worse if you’re old.”

Here’s Pew’s report.

But to sum it up:

“Not only is long-term unemployment much higher now than at any time since the government’s started keeping data on the issue, but if you’re old, you’re really out of luck. Old workers are less likely overall to be unemployed than young workers. But if you’re old and you lose your job, you’re much more likely to end up in this unfortunate category — just when your health is failing and cost of insurance is peaking.”

This is where companies that hire younger workers because of their youth, are really gonna end up screwing themselves. Yes, we live in a youth-obsessed culture, but being young doesn’t mean you’re necessarily better-qualified for any job (pre-moisty singer fan club president maybe but that’s about it), it just means you’re very malleable. Eventually, the higher-ups at some companies are gonna get fed up with the entitlement generation’s attitudes and realize that maybe they should have hired that person who may be a bit older, but has the life experience and the maturity to get the job done. I can’t count how many times I’ve come up against this type of pushback over the past year. In interviews, I’ve been asked how old I am, the year I graduated from high school, what music was popular when I was in high school, where I was when Kennedy was shot (“Ted Kennedy was shot?!?”), and a plethora of other sneaky questions. When I flat-out told the interviewers that what they were asking was illegal, the response was “So?”

This is what it’s come to. Uneducated HR folks (wait! REDUNDANT!) can get away with asking such questions because, well, they can! The job market is so horrible right now that companies can be as picky and as nasty as they want to be. Friends have asked why I don’t report these illegal tactics. What’s the point, is my answer. What good will it do? It would be my unemployed ass against theirs, so it’s already a lose-lose situation.

So, I chalk it up as a learning experience. I figure karma will get them in the end. I just hope I hear about it.